We have noticed when Newcastle players are interviewed they say similar things to their manager and seem fully committed to the Rafa Benitez way of looking at things in football.
Maybe that’s because in every single training session Rafa rams the basic things into them – only think of the next game – concentration is key – we must take our chances – and things like that?
Christian Atsu in training – he looks happy enough
Today Christian Atsu is interviewed and he did himself a lot of good on Saturday in the second half when he was one of our very best players and in fact ended up as our Man of the Match.
Newcastle need Christian to be at his very best in these final 13 games of the season and we probably need 8 wins to get that promotion but we lost out on getting one of them against Bristol City and picked up just the one point at home.
This is what Christian has said today in a rather long interview as reported in the Chronicle:
“It’s very important for the games ahead, they are the most important ones.”
“We will prepare well, we are mentally strong and we are really focused on what we want to achieve.”
“We approach every game with 100 per cent concentration. We are always positive and our performance in the second half was very good.”
“It is football, anything can happen. We’re going there to Brighton to work hard and try to win for Newcastle.”
“Our away form is good, because we are together, we have very a good team spirit, we are really organised and it is difficult for teams to break us down.”
“It’s two points dropped,” “It’s a game that we have to win and not drop points in.
“But there are so many surprises in football so we just have to concentrate on Brighton.”
“In the first half they defended really well and we conceded two early goals.”
“In the second half we tried to press them more, and we were much better and created a lot of chances from which we could have won the game.”
“Always I keep being positive and I thought we could have won it.”
“I’m really disappointed for myself because I could have scored at the end to win the game. I have to score.”
“There have been many games in which I could not score and I’m really disappointed that I could not score.”
“The manager is always encouraging us to keep learning, keep concentrating and learn from our mistakes.”
“He wants us to stay focused for the next few games.”
Atsu seems to listen intently to what Rafa tells him and he tries to carry those instructions out on the field and he also seems very keen to improve his game.
So his future very much rests at Newcastle if he can find some top form for us and help the club get promoted in May.
We hope he can do exactly that, and if he does then it’s likely Rafa will make the move permanent.
But at the moment it’s really touch and go whether Newcastle will take up their option and sign the 25 year-old.